463 Impacts on Northern Great Plains Infrastructure from Climate Change using Multi-Member Regional Climate Modeling Ensembles

Tuesday, 24 January 2017
4E (Washington State Convention Center )
William Capehart, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Rapid City, SD; and B. Lingwall, C. Bruyère, and M. Tye

Handout (1.7 MB)

Shifting climate in the Northern Great Plains is expected to have significant impact on regional infrastructure as seen recent extreme weather events.  Recent attention on global levee failures from flooding in times of drought, which may cost $1 to $50 million for each levee breach, has shown the urgency of assessing civil infrastructure fragility that was designed for a different climate than will be in place at the end of the infrastructure design life. Extreme heat and cold events already cost US highway departments billions of dollars each year in pavement maintenance and rehabilitation. The coupled effects of pine beetle kills in western forests and climate change is well documented at local scales.

Here, present the projected impacts of 21st century climate change on the Northern Great Plains region using WRF model multi-physics ensembles to illustrative the possible spread of climate outcomes.  Emphasis will be given to potential changes in extreme event frequency and changing distributions of temperature, precipitation and storm frequency over the Great Plains as hazards to civil infrastructure fragility (flooding, fire fuel loading, road wear, etc.).

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